Fahamu Refugee Legal Aid Newsletter

The Fahamu Refugee Legal Aid Newsletter is a monthly publication that focuses on the provision of refugee legal aid. It is aimed primarily to be a resource for legal aid providers in the Global South where law journals and other resources are hard to access. It complements the information portal
http://www.refugeelegalaidinformation.org
The newsletter follows recent developments in the interpretation of refugee law; case law precedents from different constituencies; reports and helpful resources for refugee legal aid providers; and stories of struggle and success in refugee legal aid work.

Country of origin and legal news

AFRICA
GHANA: 11,000 Liberian refugees in Ghana to lose status on 1 July 2012 through Cessation Clause
KENYA: Xenophobia and marginalisation of Somalis in Kenya on the rise; Tens of thousands flee violence in Northern Kenya; US urges Kenya not to refoule Somali refugees; Despite widespread intolerance, Kenya becomes a destination for regional LGBTI people seeking protection; Barbaric witch-hunts continue
LIBERIA: Liberian president releases an open letter to refugees in anticipation of the Cessation Clause
MALI: Tens of thousands flee fighting in Mali between Malian authorities and the Tuareg
MAURITANIA: EUR2,000,000 EU-funded West Sahelproject launched to secure Mauritanias borders
SOUTH AFRICA: High Court rules the Department of Home Affairs’ decision to close Refugee Reception Centerunlawfuland orders its reopening; Appeals court upholds refugee entitlement to 14-day leeway period in order to claim asylum upon entering South Africa, after challenge by Department of Home Affairs; Three-month-old child deported, without mother, to Zimbabwe
UGANDA: No freedom of assembly as Minister shuts down LGBTI rights meeting; 2009 ‘Anti-Homosexuality' Bill re-tabled in Parliament; Critical journalists come under increasing attack as media freedom shrinks
ZAMBIA: UNHCR urges Zambia and Angola to conclude refugee talks in order to implement Cessation Clause and strip Angolans of refugee status; UNHCR Zambia deniesforcing Rwandans to return through invocation of Cessation Clause
ZIMBABWE: Government threatens to deport group of DRC refugees

AMERICAS
CANADA:  Number of Roma refugees from Hungary seeking asylum increases; Canadian detention and deportation practices receive criticism
USA: Retiree establishes Eritrean refugee support network; US court considers gang-related asylum claims under ‘particular social group’ grounds; Over 13,000 people kept in immigration detention with no charges, while ‘authorities sort out their fates’; Department of Homeland Security extends Temporary Protected Status for nationals of El Salvador; Court rejects governments attempt to bar non-citizens from seeking to reopen their cases from abroad

ASIA-PACIFIC
AUSTRALIA: Nearly 5,000 detained asylum seekers face serious mental health risks
INDONESIA: Authorities arrest 96 asylum seekers rescued from capsized boat on the way to Australia
JAPAN: Japanese authorities respond to criticism by lessening time asylum seeker spends in detention
MALAYSIA: Saudi journalist refouled while in transit to New Zealand, risks death penalty
PAKISTAN: Hazara community lives in fear of discrimination, harassment and killings
SRI LANKA: Torture victim seeking judicial remedies kidnapped
UZBEKISTAN: After ‘brutal’ raids on Jehovah’s Witnesses’ homes, three people jailed for 15 days, four others fined

EUROPE
BELARUS: Religious communities threatened and harassed for holding worship meetings
BOSNIA: Fifteen Afghan migrants, mostly minors, detained by Bosnian police en route to Germany, police say they will be sent back to Serbia
BULGARIA: Refugee lawyer states access to asylum in Bulgaria is arbitrary
CYPRUS: Human rights NGO Executive Director being prosecuted
FRANCE: European Court condemns lack of suspensive appeal in French asylum procedure
GREECE: Greece begins building border fence to block immigration; Greek border guard found guilty of torturing a migrant under his supervision
IRELAND: Irish Refugee Council launches Independent Law Centre; Algerian asylum seeker released fromindefinite detention
KAZAKHSTAN: New law bans 579 small religious communities
NETHERLANDS: Government outlines integration criteria to be followed when considering refugees for resettlement
NORWAY: 400 Ethiopians to be returned under repatriation scheme; Thousands of paperlessindividuals in Norway are denied basic human rights
SWEDEN: Government expels Rwandan diplomat/head of intelligence amid reports of intimidation and harassment of Sweden’s Rwandan community
SWITZERLAND: Official announces ‘radical new approaches’ need to be taken in Swiss response to asylum seekers, including the development of a specific body charged only with removing failed asylum seekers
TURKMENISTAN: Over 200 prisoners of conscience freed, others remain in detention
UK: Torture victims being held in detention due tounsuitableprocess; Home Office pays over GBP1,000,000 in compensation to over 40 children asylum seekers who were wrongly detained in adult units; UK sees upsurge in Egyptian asylum seekers
UKRAINE: Growing concerns over detention regime; Human Rights Watch calls on Ukranian authorities to stop harrassing Somali aslyum seekers

MIDDLE EAST
EGYPT: Authorities deport 26 Eritreans caught trying to flee to Israel; Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights condemns collective punishment of Coptic citizens, blaming ‘legal cover’ provided by Egyptian ruling forces; Africans abducted by Bedouin gangs in the Sinai gain international press, but the kidnappings and torture continue; Egyptian regime cracks down on celebrity activist for defaming Islam
IRAN: Man who converted to Christianity and became a pastor sentenced to death; Prison facilities notorious for cruel and prolonged torture of political opponents of the government; Iranian failed asylum seekers can be prosecuted formaking up accounts of alleged persecution
IRAQ: Camp AshrafIranian refugees begin transfer as part of US-Iraqi resettlement deal after criticism of the plan; 30 Syrian army defectors granted refugee status in Iraqi Kurdistan
ISRAEL: Furthering its anti-refugee push, Israel will refoule South Sudanese refugees in April, despite Human Rights Watch report of continued conflict
JORDAN: First refugee camp opens for Syrians in collaboration with UNHCR
KUWAIT: Around 150 protesters facing trial for demonstrating against statelessness, Human Rights Watch Middle East director states government haslittle respectfor stateless people
LEBANON: Syrian refugees do not feel safe in Lebanon, worry the Syrian government can still find them; Lebanese troops deploy to the border with Syria onSyrian orders
LIBYA: Scores killed in ethnic clashes; Interior Minister asks EU to assist in renovating migrant detention centres
SAUDI ARABIA: Ethiopian Christians arrested for 'illicit mingling' at private prayer meeting
SYRIA: Children as young as 13 being tortured; Syrian government asks Lebanon to arrest refugees loyal to the Free Syrian Army
YEMEN: Somalis killed attempting to cross from Yemen into Saudi Arabia

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